Our Speakers at the 39th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience®


We are so excited to be headed to Washington, D.C. on February 21th for the 39th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience®!

The Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience® focuses on supporting student learning, development, and success in the first college year. In addition to the numerous conference sessions that happen throughout the weekend, Penguin Random House will be hosting a series of author events to allow participants to hear from some of our best speakers for college audiences.

Below is a listing of the events we are hosting that feature our speakers. Please contact us if you would like more information on any of the events. Can’t make it to Washington, D.C.? Not to fear! Be sure to follow our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates and check back here after the conference for a comprehensive blog post on our time at the conference.

Penguin Random House Events at the 39th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience®

Friday, February 21th

Friday Dinner
8:00pm – 9:30pm

Featuring Susan Fowler (Whistleblower), Ibram X. Kendi (How to be An Antiracist), Kwame Onwuachi (Notes from a Young Black Chef), Adib Khorram (Darius the Great is Not Okay)

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Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

National Book Award-winning historian and #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist

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Kwame Onwuachi

James Beard award-winning chef and Top Chef guest judge

Saturday, February 22th

Saturday Luncheon
12:15pm – 1:45pm

Featuring Jennifer L. Eberhardt (Biased), Diane Shader Smith (Salt in My Soul), Nic Stone (Dear Martin), John Urschel (Mind and Matter)

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Dr. Jennifer L. Eberhardt

Award-winning social psychologist and one of the world’s leading experts on unconscious bias

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Diane Shader Smith

Spokesperson for the bestselling book Salt in My Soul

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Private: Nic Stone

New York Times-bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out

Saturday, February 22nd

Saturday Cocktails and Conversation
5:30pm – 7:00pm

Featuring Bina Venkataraman (The Optimist’s Telescope), David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth)

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Private: Bina Venkataraman

Author of The Optimist’s Telescope, columnist at The Washington Post, and a fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center

Sunday, February 23rd

Sunday Luncheon
12:00pm – 1:30pm

Featuring Carolyn A Forche (What You Have Heard is True), Brandon Hobson (Where the Dead Sit Talking), Chris Wilson (The Master Plan), Bren Smith (Eat Like a Fish)

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Bren Smith

Restorative ocean farmer, co-founder of GreenWave, and author of Eat Like a Fish